The Google Pixel series not only comes with updates from day one, but it also comes with a number of features that you probably haven’t used or need to use more often.
Sure, there are more feature-rich versions of Android, but the simplicity of Google’s internal vision of what the mobile operating system should be is one of the main reasons fans love the Pixel series. . You also get some features you won’t find anywhere else, including improved Assistant integration and more.
We have tried to omit some obvious candidates like Call screen and Hold for me, as these are touted as key selling features. Instead, we’re sticking with options you might not even know existed. So with that in mind, here are some of our favorite Pixel features that we think aren’t mentioned or mentioned often enough.
Video — 10 Google Pixel Features You’re Not Using Enough
Delete multiple apps at once
On Pixel phones or any phone with Files by Google installed, you don’t have to spend hours trying to remove unwanted apps one by one. This time saver is great if you want to get rid of bulky games and apps all at once rather than going through the slow process of finding the app, opening individual app settings, then clicking press the “Uninstall” button. Along with some of the other Files by Google features, you can target the largest unused apps on your phone and remove them all in seconds with ease.
black screen at night
The pros of an always-on display certainly outweigh the cons, but at night, even on the lowest brightness settings, it can be dazzling or distracting. A simple solution is to disable this feature on your Pixel. With Digital Wellbeing controls, you can set your Always-on screen to turn off while you sleep.
As long as you’ve set a Bedtime mode routine, it’s as simple as toggling the option, and during the preset times the always-on display will be disabled. Once your alarm has gone off, it will turn back on and work as it should. There are also potential benefits for boosting the battery if you don’t like charging or forget to charge your phone overnight.
Being able to change the sound balance of your Pixel is a nice feature even if you don’t listen to audio often or watch videos on your mobile too regularly. This is a particularly useful feature for the Pixel 5 series, which has a terrible under-display speaker that just doesn’t get loud enough. This applies to any connected Bluetooth or wired audio hardware, so this is hardware you should play with sparingly.
Although Tasker is the undisputed king of automation on Android, you might want some basic automated features without going too deep. The Rules feature on Pixel phones gives you some basic tools to automate simple things. Don’t expect full device checks; instead, it’s limited to being able to adjust your ringtone volume and do not disturb mode settings.
The triggers you offer include Wi-Fi or GPS location. Of course, this is by no means exhaustive, nor a time-saver for everyone. It’s a nice little touch, though, that’s built in and lets you set rules for work, home, and any other place you want.
Quick screenshots, image sharing and text selection
It’s technically three things all rolled into one here, but be patient because it’s all enabled the same way. The Recents app menu in Android 11 includes some powerful new toggles, and with Android 12 you get some great time-saving features that you’re in all likelihood not using as much as you should.
Let’s start with the quick screenshot toggle because it’s something anyone can benefit from right away. When you swipe to the main app preview carousel, you can instantly grab a screenshot of the displayed app by tapping on it.
This avoids pressing the power button and volume key combination while getting a full screen image of the app in question. In Android 12, you will still need to use the key combination method to access scrolling screenshots with compatible apps. However, it is a very fast way to share something between apps and services.
The selection tool is a bit more powerful as it includes some neat tricks that you might never have known about. By tapping the “Select” toggle, you can easily identify any text on the screen. That alone is a nice addition, but it offers other great features thanks to Google Lens and Assistant.
Highlight foreign text and you may be prompted to translate into your localized language, while other context clues are also offered, including ‘Copy’, ‘Share’ and ‘Search’. The latter takes you to the Google app and searches for the highlights query.
A bonus exclusively for Android 12 users is more contextual tools in the Recents menu. If an app or web page contains images, you’ll see a small image icon that you can tap to quickly copy or save the image. Swiping the icon down opens a small share sheet that lets you send directly to your contacts or an app of your choice. There’s also a quick hyperlink tool that lets you copy links from web pages or, like the image share tool, you can swipe down to a popup share sheet.
It took until Android 12 for the Pixel to get a dedicated one-handed mode, but it’s a nice option that you’re probably not using as much as you should. With phones getting bigger and bigger, being able to reach and reach the upper echelons of your screen gets harder every year.
One-handed mode on Pixel is a feature that, even if you don’t use it all the time, is worth enabling on your phone. Just swipe down on the navigation bar and everything that would normally be out of reach is now within reach. It’s not useful all the time, but it’s useful because no-hands gymnastics are needed to access all parts of the app’s user interfaces.
If you’re tired of constantly typing in your PIN or fiddling with the sometimes finicky fingerprint scanner on your Pixel 6, you should try using Smart Lock. The feature has been around for a long time now, but it’s still something not all Pixel owners use to save time unlocking and accessing their phones.
Smart Lock gives you several options. There’s on-body detection that uses on-device sensors to determine if your Pixel is in your pocket or in your hand. You can set up the feature using trusted places, so you don’t need to enter your PIN or use biometrics at home or wherever you choose. There is also the option of a trusted device which will remove the PIN and biometric requirement if you are connected to specific Bluetooth accessories.
Using your phone while driving isn’t just useless, it’s dangerous unless you need turn-by-turn navigation assistance. Android Auto and Android Automotive certainly eliminate some of the risk, but eliminating the distractions is still a better bet. Fortunately, Android has a built-in driving mode that can activate automatically when you’re in a motor vehicle.
As an extension of Do Not Disturb mode, there are several ways to enable it. Your phone can detect when you are moving on the road or at a certain speed. Or it may switch when you connect to a Bluetooth device in your car. It’s a great way to eliminate distractions while still being able to use Google Maps, while your regular calls, texts and notifications are paused until you arrive at your destination.
Pausing the app
Eliminating distractions is something easier said than done. Since Android 9 Pie, the Digital Wellbeing suite has offered an option called “Focus Mode” which can be customized to block your most annoying apps. When active, all app notifications will be disabled until the timed period ends.
It’s great for weekends and evenings, but if you just want to quickly and efficiently disable an app on your phone, you can just “pause” it when needed. Long-press any app and you’ll see an hourglass icon – tap it and it’ll be completely disabled until you re-enable it by “pausing” the app if you try to open it again.
A good VPN is always something you should have access to, no matter what technology you use. If you’re a Google One subscriber, there’s a free VPN at the 1TB storage tier ($9.99 per month). It works just as well with other VPN providers, and for added security, you can even block all internet connections unless you’re also connected to a VPN service. Your data speed and network performance may vary depending on the VPN provider you choose, but it’s a solid way to increase device security when on known, unknown data networks and mobile.
What’s your favorite Pixel feature that isn’t mentioned enough?
If you’re using a Google Pixel, what’s your favorite lesser-known feature or function? Do you use some options that you think deserve more attention? Let us know in the comments section below.
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